Science for the People was not directly responsible for the tomato-thrower, but the group was picketing labs dedicated to war research and asking scientists to pledge not to work on military projects. Since they would “do anything to break down the offensive/defensive capability of the United States,” as one FBI report put it, the agency saw them as a real threat.
“In the context of contemporary of American corporate capitalism … [science] largely contributes to the exploitation and oppression of most of the people both in this country and abroad.”
“Science for the People came out very strongly in saying that science is not politically neutral,” says Sigrid Schmalzer, a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “They had a critique of the entire system.”